Thursday, July 22, 2010

Scottie Pippen Was Really, Really Good

Averaged 20 pts, 7.3 rebs, 6 asts to help Jordan win six rings

Michael Jordan said recently that he would never have joined up with Magic and Bird to win titles, a la Lebron joining Wade and Bosh (although to be fair, Bosh is not one of the top 3 players in the league). Instead, Jordan said, he just worked harder to beat them. That's sparked a lot of talk about whether any titles LeBron wins with the Heat will be as meaningful, legacy-wise, as those won by Jordan in Chicago (or even the post-Shaq Kobe titles). I don't have anything to contribute to that other than to say that yes, Wade and Bosh are much better players than the #2 & #3 guy on either Jordan's Bulls or Kobe's Lakers.

Anyway, what I'm getting around to is that Scottie Pippen was really, really good. In the Bulls' six championship seasons, he averaged 20 points on 48.4% shooting, 7.3 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2.2 steals a game. And that's with Michael Jordan averaging about 30 points every season!

Lebron never had a #2 guy nearly as good as Pippen in Cleveland, and there was no reason to believe Cavs management would succeed in getting him one after seven years of failing to do so. The Lakers, on the other hand, did get Pau Gasol to be Kobe's #2. His averages of 18.6 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game arguably make him as valuable to Kobe as Pippen was to Jordan.

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